Man posing as NFM employee runs TV scam in Omaha

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Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 10:21 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 6, 2023 at 8:04 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Out of the blue, Steven Bolen Sr. got a text offering two 85-inch TVs for the out-of-this-world price of $750.

“The price is a red flag, but it was easy to fall for because he said he had the warranties and the paperwork and you go pick them up from [NFM],” Bolen Sr. said.

Steve says that text sold his friend, Monte Menzel, on paying $600 cash to a man named Ricky Hill, who pretended to be an employee of NFM.

“He said he works in the warehouse there,” Menzel said. “He told me and Steve, ‘I’m a warehouse manager and we’ve got orders to get rid of these TVs.”

Monte says he paid the scammer in the parking lot by Mrs. B’s, which is the clearance outlet on NFM’s massive 72nd Street campus.

“He walked right up out of the alley and you hear the warehouse clanking in the background on his phone, you got to believe he’s a manager,” Menzel said.

Menzel told 6 News that the phony employee sent him a text picture of an invoice he took to the pickup warehouse.

“They were really nice,” Menzel said. “She came out and said, ‘Sir, you’ve been scammed.’”

Security Chief Jim Cahill says over the last 10 months, eight victims have reported paying hundreds of dollars to a man pretending to be an NFM employee offering cheap TVs.

“This person does not work for NFM,” Cahill said. “[He’s never had] a connection to NFM. He creates fake orders, similar to forging a check.”

Cahill told 6 News the invoices that the scammer sends to victims are likely from past purchases made into cut-and-paste forgeries.

After paying for one of these TVs with cash or via Cash App, the scammer will send an invoice by text.

“We don’t text you orders,” Cahill said. “We don’t do business like that.”

And Monte says another friend paid the scammer $700 through Cash App with the same results.

“We have a joint interest in catching this person,” Cahill said. “Not only did you lose money, but it’s our reputation involved.”

Cahill strongly advises the public not to never pay someone claiming to be an employee without calling NFM to get the big picture.

“It was too damn good to be real,” Menzel said.

Any footage that might show the scam suspect has been turned over to Omaha Police. Individuals with information on the suspect’s identity are encouraged to call OPD.